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PhilB Discusses FIFA Esports at Red Bull AdrenaLAN Presented by Bell

We were able to sit down and speak with professional FIFA player PhilB this weekend and poke his brain about everything FIFA esports.

Philip "PhilB" Balke is a professional FIFA player that hails from the Great White North of Canada who currently plays for the Toronto FC eMLS team. Regarded as one of the very best FIFA players that has come from Canada, PhilB is currently showing off his skills at the Red Bull AdrenaLAN presented by Bell event taking place this weekend. 

Twin Galaxies was able to catch up with PhilB at the Red Bull AdrenaLAN presented by Bell and poke his brain regarding everything from the current state of the game's esports scene to the popular franchise's competitive scene in Canada and what the FIFA community needs to do in order for the title to rise to becoming a Tier 1 esport. 

(Source: Red Bull)
(Source: Red Bull)

TG: How do you feel the growth of the FIFA esports scene has been recently?

PhilB: "I feel that it has been pretty huge. The next Grand Final is in a stadium, and I don't think there has been a Grand Final in a stadium for FIFA before, so there has been tremendous growth."

TG: How would you describe the FIFA esports scene in Canada?

PhilB: "I feel like there is a lot of local talent here in Toronto and across the country as well, so it is very exciting. Those players haven;t had their shot at making a tournament yet, but when they do they will definitely capitalize on that and do very good."

TG: What do you feel needs to be done in order for FIFA to rise to become a tier 1 esports title?

PhilB: "I think the community needs to get involved more with the scene because I know a lot of the community is not about the FIFA esports scene, which is like I don't really know what to say about that because other esports communities are really involved with their game and their esport. The players that compete have huge fan bases, so if FIFA could be like that I definitely think that it could become a tier 1 and have events held in stadiums instead of like broadcast places."

TG: With the creation of the NBA 2K League, would you like to see a similar league be created for FIFA?

PhilB: "Regular soccer seasons go throughout the year and that would be amazing to see FIFA do the same thing just like the NBA 2K League is doing. Having matches every week instead of having a tournament every couple of months could make or break a player. Say a player is not consistent at events where maybe every week he would peak at his highest level."

TG: What are you hoping to see in FIFA 19 in regards to competitive play compared to prior games?

PhilB: "I'm just looking forward to seeing more tournaments for FIFA 19. Especially in North America because we do not have that many here and also a EMLS league. That would definitely be awesome as well."

TG: If you were not a professional FIFA player but still wanted to be an esports athlete, what game would you be competing in?

PhilB: "I would have to say CS:GO or Call of Duty, as those are two of my favorite to watch. My favorite Call of Duty is Black Ops 2, and I am super excited for Black Ops 4. I already pre-ordered it." 

TG: Do you hope to see the community rally around FIFA 19 in the same way the NHL community has done for NHL 19 in the early stages?

PhilB: "I feel like a lot of the FIFA community, especially on Twitter, is very excited for 19 and for EA to make a really good FIFA release. I feel like they will do it this year." 

TG: Who would you say has been your toughest opponent in professional FIFA?

PhilB: "My toughest opponent would definitely be Cody The Finisher. He is a German player, but if I would have to say from the eMLS it would be Chris Holly from New York City FC."

TG: Who would you say is your rival in the professional FIFA scene?

PhilB: "I feel like my biggest rival would be the player from Montreal, Lyes. I think me and him have a very competitive edge, and we are always going back and forth. I think he got the better of me last event." 

TG: Who would you say you are the most confident playing against?

PhilB: "I wouldn't say that I have had a worst opponent. They are all really good. You know to be top in the world you have to be amazing."

This interview has been edited for clarity.

(cover photo courtesy of Red Bull)

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